Paralyzed suspect arrested for 2003 murder of NYSP detective’s daughter in Orange County

Suspect Edward Holley claims innocence, professing love for victim Megan McDonald; modern technology aids in cracking 20-year-old cold case in New York.

A New York subject charged Thursday in the 2003 death of an NYSP detective’s 20-year-old daughter proclaimed love for his victim in front of a state police station following his arrest.

Edward V. Holley, 42, is accused of beating Megan McDonald to death in the back of a white Mercury Sable vehicle and throwing her to the side of a road in Orange County, N.Y., on May 14, 2003.

“I am definitely not guilty. I love Megan with all my heart,” stated the suspect while being wheeled away in a wheelchair, who allegedly had a romantic relationship with the victim before killing her, according to a WCBS video.

On the other hand, two young women and another who identified herself as Holley’s wife shouted, “We love you, daddy,” PIX11 media reported.

The man was paralyzed from the waist down after a traffic accident in 2007. He has been behind bars since 2021 on a drug charge not linked to the crime mentioned above, NYSP noted.

“We used modern technology and applied it in 2003, and we were able to get good results to help the case … over the last year,” said New York State Police Lt. Brad Natalizio, who helped lead the investigation.

The lieutenant added that McDonald’s family “never gave up” and that officials are “very grateful” for their help in solving this crime.

A felony complaint in Orange County alleges that the suspect “knowingly and intentionally caused the death of Megan McDonald by striking her multiple times in the head with a blunt object.”

Apparently, McDonald and Holley were in a “romantic relationship,” which the victim tried to end just days before her homicide. According to the complaint, they argued on March 10, 2003.

Also, the man “owed the victim a substantial amount of money that was causing hostility between the two before the homicide,” the document notes.

Witnesses saw Holley’s purple Honda Civic, described as “the loudest car in town,” following McDonald in his white Mercury on March 14, the morning of his death.

Officials found the victim’s vehicle in the parking lot of the Kensington Manor apartment complex in Wallkill, New York, two days after his body was discovered.

The medical examiner determined that the young woman’s cause of death was repeated blunt-force trauma to the head.

The victim was a SUNY Orange Community College student and worked as a waitress to pay her tuition.

The NYSP lieutenant described the homicide as a “crime of passion” and “intimate partner violence” in an interview with Fox News.

Natalizio also described the arrest as “emotional,” but there is still “a lot of work to be done,” so police are “taking it day by day.”

Holley “went unnoticed for the first few years of the investigation because there was an original suspect that police and even the suspect were focused on,” the lieutenant explained in March when he believed police were close to capturing.

The victim’s father died in 2002, a year before his daughter was killed.